Six Vietnamese artworks rake in millions at int'l auction

In May 2019, Le Pho's "Nude" sold for $ 1.4 million at Christie's "20th Century & Contemporary Art" auction in Hong Kong. The oil painting, size 90.5 x 180.5 centimeters, created in 1931, is in the art collection of Tuan H Pham - Vietnamese American.
Nude painting was once deemed taboo to Confucian thinking in old Vietnam. "In this fascinating picture, the artist's virtuous will and skill are clearly shown. With the intention of breaking away from Confucian philosophy, it created a sense of revolution by breaking the traditional perspective and highlighting the complexity in the artist's vision," the auction house stated.
Le Pho brought his paintings to France in 1937 and stored them in a small rented apartment in Paris. In 1940, when war broke out between France and Germany, the painter joined the French army. Before going to the battlefield, he told the housekeeper he would return to pay his rent soon and left his paintings behind to show he would keep his promise. However, the landlord sold the paintings to settle his debt.
Artist Le Pho, born in Hanoi, was one of the first students of the Indochina Fine Arts School. He also received training from the French principal, painter and professor Victor Tardieu. In 1937, Le Pho moved to France, marrying a reporter named Paulette Vauxa.
Pierre Le Tan, their son, was born in 1950 and became one of the famous illustrators in France. His granddaughter, Olympia Le Tan, is known as a famous fashion designer.



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